Long gone are the days when you needed to run a website to do affiliate marketing — thanks to its all-pervasive presence in our lives, social media is the new marketing hotspot. If you want to make the most of it, though, here are a few pointers…
Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing Through Facebook Groups
Compared to regular Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups are far easier to create and manage. If you have a limited budget for advertising and audience-building, but you’re confident about the relevance and uniqueness of your content, a Group can be an ideal starting point, as initial members will add their friends along the way. If this proves successful, you’ll have conjured up an engaged audience, attracted solely by your content, without spending a penny. Also, when compared to a standard Page, an active community in a Facebook Group has the potential to create far more organic reach for your posts.
But How Do I Promote My Posts?
Because Facebook doesn’t allow you to promote Facebook Group posts, you’ll struggle to grow your audience beyond the organic reach of your Group. However, this can be offset by setting up a Page where you can share the posts from your Group and use advertising to promote them. However, don’t post direct Affiliate links in your advertised posts, as this contravenes the Terms Of Service. However, you can include your Group link — as a comment on each post on your Page — so that anyone in your Page’s audience can easily join your Group, if they’re interested.
Note that, by default, every member is allowed to create a post in a Group. This might become a problem in your Group as, in extreme circumstances, it may be swamped with irrelevant, controversial, or spam posts. You could of course restrict this by limiting posting rights to Admins only. However, bear in mind this might antagonise your Group’s members, so it needs to be handled very delicately.
What Should I Create A Group About?
You should always base a Group around an interest or hobby you’re really passionate about: one you love to talk about and build conversations around. Affiliate marketing requires patience, dedication and really hard work… Just plucking a topic out of the air in the hope of earning commissions is unlikely to work out well.
So be honest with yourself when it comes to this all-important decision, and decide if you can offer your members a unique angle on or approach to a topic — and also whether you know your market sufficiently well. As an example; if you’re passionate about mobile phones, and have more expertise on them than the average person, then that’s a promising start; but at the outset, you should also assess whether you know enough about them to spot good discounts and deals, to judge whether your deals would be unique, and whether you can invest sufficient time in finding them to post on your own content and so on…
A good rule-of-thumb to help you decide is to ask yourself: even if affiliate commission was not involved, would I still want to create a Group, and invest hours into building a vibrant community, based around this particular topic?
How Do I Attract Members To Begin With?
Your initial members need to be people who can offer you some constructive feedback. So, a trusted set of friends would be a great place to start. If you’re not comfortable with your friends being in the Group, search for a set of Groups similar to yours, and create a post there. Mention clearly what your Group is about, and offer some compelling reasons why people should join it. Of course, you should always gain permission from any Groups’ moderators before creating a post.
It’s very important to keep your members engaged. So when you create your Group, don’t just focus on attracting new members. Instead, create four or five informative, high-value posts before inviting waves of members, so that once they join, there’s something there to engage them and they won’t end up just staring at a blank page. If you already have a few relevant articles and posts on your website, you could share those in the Group too, to start with.
How Do I Post Affiliate Links?
You can either embed your Affiliate link in your post, or include it as a clickable link. If you have multiple links in a single post, then go with the clickable approach, as that will make the post look neat. Moreover, Facebook and Twitter don’t allow you to edit the preview of an embedded link, so the clickable link is the preferred option. Always shorten your links using Amazon Link Shortener Tool- SiteStripe to keep your posts neat and tidy.
Do I Need To Tell Group Members I’m Earning Commissions From The Links I Post?
Yes — you need to be explicit, and should mention this in the Group description. Also, repeat it in your pinned post. If possible, put a Disclaimer in every new post that contains Affiliate links. It’s very easy for anyone to find out that your links are Affiliate links, so not telling them is a surefire way to lose the trust you’ve built up with your members. Being upfront about your Affiliate links will help maintain your integrity. If you’re giving them great value and good advice on their future purchases etc, they’re unlikely to object to you earning commissions through sales
When Will I Begin Earning?
If what you’re offering (reviews, deals, discounts, advice and so on) really stands out, and ultimately makes your members make better buying decisions, then it’s possible that you’ll begin earning relatively quickly. Having said that, you should focus on building your community first. Don’t compromise the quality of your posts, just so you can make a quick buck. Research, read, curate, and then post. With a vibrant community that trusts your word, money will soon follow.
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